Madrid Research Day 2

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Day 2: 9 Jan - Cafeteria Dominguez Meeting and walk around the city


After a late start, Method, Scott and I (Marsha) left the flat in search of a breakfast place where we could have our CP meeting en route to the Reina Sophia. We never made it to the museum. Our seven-hour meeting in Cafeteria Dominguez was intense, exhilarating and wildly productive. We were dogged: in addition to prepping for the week ahead, we rewrote CP's Aims. Our work flow was only interrupted by ordering rounds of warm caffeinated liquids in the morning and cold alcoholic ones in the afternoon.

We missed Neil but he was very much present. We often wondered: "What would Neil think about this?" Or "What would Neil say?". We look forward to briefing him and other CP members on this momentous meeting. You can access the minutes here.


We agreed to document and post daily archives on the wiki. These will include two to ten photographs. Here's the rota for Madrid documentation:

Madrid Research Day 1, Scott
Madrid Research Day 2, Marsha
Madrid Research Day 3, Scott
Madrid Research Day 4, Metod
Madrid Research Day 5, Marsha
Madrid Research Day 6, Neil
Madrid Research Day 7, Kerem
Madrid Research Day 8 and 9, Neil
Madrid Research Day 8 and 9, Metod


After the meeting, we walked and walked - up the hill, passing Reina Sofia on our left. As we ambled we anticipated the week ahead: What could we hope to produce together? What form and focus would our project take? How would it respond to historic and contemporary contexts? Undeterred by the drizzle we walked on.

We found ourselves in Plaza de Sol where we paused to listen to a mariachi band. We marveled at Madrid's cultural diversity - Spanish-speaking peoples from all around the world. We also encountered first-generation Asian immigrants in the stores where we bought asparagus, tuna, tomatoes, coconut juice and other groceries. Many of these shopkeeper spoke more English than our waiters to date.

We pushed on, strolling across Plaza Mayor...past cantinas selling chocolate con curras and over cobble stones that have witnessed (bloody) events, including bullfights and public executions. This square, built by the Habsburgs in the sixteenth century, was a favorite with the Spanish Inquisition. Today it's popular with tourists and locals alike.

Another high point of the evening was our visit to the extraordinary Mercado de San Miguel. Our eyes feasted on delicacies like fresh oysters, dainty pastries, sophisticated sherries. Clearly, this is the place to see and be seen.

Walking back to the flat, we issued one another a challenge: Could we express the "why" and "how" of Critical Practice in a single sentence? We struggled for some time, agreeing that "the relations of production" is a pivot for our research. We explore this subject both "internally" through self-organization and "externally" in the broader socio-politico-cultural context. We're increasingly interested in where different fields of relations overlap and/or rub together and aim to explore this in greater depth through the Ranchito project.

Spent but satisfied, we returned to the flat. Each of us retired to their beds to archive the day's events. But the shared reflection and speculation continued as we called to one another to check information and impressions. Coined "inter-room" communication by Scott, this is a terrific way to be together but on your own at the same time.

See Madrid Research Day 3 or return to Madrid Research Day 1 or El Ranchito or the Workshops/barcamps/exercises